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12 posts categorized "venture capital"

December 05, 2013

Breast cancer scanner maker, once linked to Mayo Clinic, sold to Mexican company

Qg3q4q112233Here's a potentially interesting nugget of news about San Diego-based Naviscan Inc., which was at one pointed linked with Mayo Clinic through intellectual property licenses as well as direct investment by Mayo Medical Ventures.

"… Certain Naviscan Inc. assets including intellectual property and the Naviscan Trademark" have been aquired by a Mexican medical scanner company called Compañía Mexicana de Radiología or CMR.

Not sure what that means exactly, but my guess is that CMR is now behind the steering wheel at Naviscan.

Now I don't know if Mayo Clinic still has any links with Naviscan, but it certainly did at one time. I've got calls into Mayo and Naviscan to check on that.

I wrote the Mayo Clinic-Naviscan relationship back in 2005 through 2007 or so. Sheesh, I've been doing this for a long time.

From back in November 2005:

Naviscan “entered into an agreement with Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (Mayo Clinic) to clinically validate and commercialize a dynamic patented molecular imaging agent for use with Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and other imaging modalities. … Mayo Clinic has licensed the vitamin B-12 molecular imaging agent technology invented by Dr. Douglas A.Collins to Naviscan PET Systems, Inc and will receive royalties from this license. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have published studies that cancers have high uptake of radioactive B-12, especially in breast tumors."

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"The combination of the Mayo Clinic’s patented Vitamin B-12 molecular imaging agent and Naviscan’s high-resolution PET scanner holds great promise for the future in terms of early detection of breast cancers,” said Paul Grayson, newly-appointed CEO of Naviscan PET Systems, Inc. and a Managing Director of Sanderling Ventures. “We sought out Naviscan’s technology to strategically invest in this important imaging technology platform.” Naviscan is planning clinical trial work with Mayo Clinic and other luminary sites in the U.S. to prove the value of the PEM Flex in breast cancer patients, as well as for evaluating PEM’s role with high-risk patients.”

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From the same date in 2005:

“Naviscan PET Systems has raised a $6.5 million in Series B funding for its high resolution positron emission tomography (PET) products. The firm said that it raised the round from Sanderling Ventures, with participation from Mayo Medical Ventures."

FYI, Sanderling Ventures now leases a space in the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator.

November 11, 2013

Mayo Clinic, U of M startup ready for software rollout

Rochester's Evidentia Health got some press last week about its impending rollout at Fairview Health Systems.

Evidentia Health was one of the first tenants of Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator when it opened early this year.

Its billed as a health care IT company with licensed expe02272013mayoaccelerator1rtise and medical content from both Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota

It was co-founded by Mayo Clinic's Dr. Jeremy Friese in early 2012.Friese, an interventional radiologist, is the medical director for new ventures and business development in the Mayo Clinic's Center for Individualized Medicine.

Evidentia was profiled on Wednesday by TechdotMN, a non-profit business media group. Here's some from that piece by Yael Grauer:

As new provisions from the Affordable Healthcare Act take effect, Minnesota startup Evidentia Health is poised to help patients better understand their electronic health records (EHRs) while helping physicians meet criteria for “meaningful use” of EHR technology to improve patient care.

To receive EHR incentive pay under Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, healthcare providers must show they are meaningfully using EHRs by meeting various objectives.  Patients are required to be able to access their medical information within three days of when it’s created, and in 2014, this will be within one day.

The problem is that viewing EHR material and doing research online can be confusing to patients. They can jump to the wrong conclusions, worry unnecessarily and often have questions for their care team that may not be applicable.

Evidentia provides reports to both patients and physicians. The reports for patients include the most important sources of information, as well as secondary information for those interested in even more. In addition to the material in patient reports, physicians also receive recent medical research for evidence-based medicine studies.

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Founded in October 2012, Evidentia is funded by Mayo Clinic Ventures and the University of Minnesota. A pilot program is taking place at the Family Practice Internal Medicine groups in Rochester, and Evidentia is prepared to deploy within Fairview at University Hospital.

As new provisions from the Affordable Healthcare Act take effect, Minnesota startup Evidentia Health is poised to help patients better understand their electronic health records (EHRs) while helping physicians meet criteria for “meaningful use” of EHR technology to improve patient care.

To receive EHR incentive pay under Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, healthcare providers must show they are meaningfully using EHRs by meeting various objectives.  Patients are required to be able to access their medical information within three days of when it’s created, and in 2014, this will be within one day.

The problem is that viewing EHR material and doing research online can be confusing to patients. They can jump to the wrong conclusions, worry unnecessarily and often have questions for their care team that may not be applicable.

Evidentia provides reports to both patients and physicians. The reports for patients include the most important sources of information, as well as secondary information for those interested in even more. In addition to the material in patient reports, physicians also receive recent medical research for evidence-based medicine studies.

“Evidentia brings together all of the information that you need to know and get it in your hands in a way that’s both credible and trustworthy, has been reviewed by physicians, and is applicable to your situation,” says CTO Brent Backhaus.

When patients access their electronic medical records, they’ve often confused about certain key phrases or conditions. Evidentia looks at the text of the reports, highlights key phrases, and presents individualized information to the patient. The information selected is both algorithmically selected and reviewed by a physician.

“We pick information to present to both to the patient and the physician that make the most sense for them to see at that point in time about their specific condition,” Backhaus says.

In addition to Backhaus, who was the founding CTO of Virtual Radiologic, Evidentia’s team includes CEO Jeremy Friese, a Harvard MBA and Associate Chair of Radiology at Mayo Clinic, and chief product officer Dan Steinberger, a U of M physician and technology leader, and founder of ProVation Medical (which had a $100m exit in 2006).

Founded in October 2012, Evidentia is funded by Mayo Clinic Ventures and the University of Minnesota. A pilot program is taking place at the Family Practice Internal Medicine groups in Rochester, and Evidentia is prepared to deploy within Fairview at University Hospital.

- See more at: http://tech.mn/news/2013/11/06/evidentia-health-mayo-clinic-ventures/#sthash.tL8tSBOX.dpuf
Yael Grauer
Yael Grauer
Yael Grauer
Yael Grauer

As new provisions from the Affordable Healthcare Act take effect, Minnesota startup Evidentia Health is poised to help patients better understand their electronic health records (EHRs) while helping physicians meet criteria for “meaningful use” of EHR technology to improve patient care.

To receive EHR incentive pay under Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, healthcare providers must show they are meaningfully using EHRs by meeting various objectives.  Patients are required to be able to access their medical information within three days of when it’s created, and in 2014, this will be within one day.

The problem is that viewing EHR material and doing research online can be confusing to patients. They can jump to the wrong conclusions, worry unnecessarily and often have questions for their care team that may not be applicable.

Evidentia provides reports to both patients and physicians. The reports for patients include the most important sources of information, as well as secondary information for those interested in even more. In addition to the material in patient reports, physicians also receive recent medical research for evidence-based medicine studies.

“Evidentia brings together all of the information that you need to know and get it in your hands in a way that’s both credible and trustworthy, has been reviewed by physicians, and is applicable to your situation,” says CTO Brent Backhaus.

When patients access their electronic medical records, they’ve often confused about certain key phrases or conditions. Evidentia looks at the text of the reports, highlights key phrases, and presents individualized information to the patient. The information selected is both algorithmically selected and reviewed by a physician.

“We pick information to present to both to the patient and the physician that make the most sense for them to see at that point in time about their specific condition,” Backhaus says.

In addition to Backhaus, who was the founding CTO of Virtual Radiologic, Evidentia’s team includes CEO Jeremy Friese, a Harvard MBA and Associate Chair of Radiology at Mayo Clinic, and chief product officer Dan Steinberger, a U of M physician and technology leader, and founder of ProVation Medical (which had a $100m exit in 2006).

Founded in October 2012, Evidentia is funded by Mayo Clinic Ventures and the University of Minnesota. A pilot program is taking place at the Family Practice Internal Medicine groups in Rochester, and Evidentia is prepared to deploy within Fairview at University Hospital.

- See more at: http://tech.mn/news/2013/11/06/evidentia-health-mayo-clinic-ventures/#sthash.tL8tSBOX.dpufis it will roll out its technology this year.

March 01, 2013

Mayo Clinic Biz Accelerator already speeding along

Here's some from my 2nd Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator story of the week. I'll have more in seperate post soon.
The just-opened Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator is already bursting at the seams with companies, including some local start-ups that are ready to aim high.

051509biobusinesscenteratnight"We want to be the Amgen (the largest biotechnology company in the world) of Rochester," says Dr. John Burnett Jr., who with Dr. Horng Chen founded Zumbro Discovery just a few weeks ago.

The pair develop peptides to help treat medical conditions and two of their previous creations were licensed by out-of-state companies.

"We really had the desire to set something up here," says Chen. And as the inventors, they believe they will be able to better direct the course of the product as well as do it faster.

Their first patented peptide is designed to treat a condition known as Resistant Hypertension. It is generally defined as high blood pressure that standard treatments can't lower. About 10 to 20 percent of people diagnosed with hypertension are believed to be resistant.
It can lead to heart failure, myocardial infarction, stroke as well as kidney failure.

The Federal Drug Administration has already given the doctors the greenlight to begin testing on patients with Resistant Hypertension and they hope to do that by the end of the year.

"Being in the Accelerator is great for a young, virtual company like us. It gives a chance to interact with venture capitalists and network with other businesses," says Burnett. "And it is just a short walk from our lab."

The Accelerator offices in the Minnesota BioBusiness Center were packed this morning as crowds of Mayo Clinic administrators, city officials and community leaders packed into the just-completed space to christian is open for business.

It's "business" is to speed up local business development and ultimately create new jobs.

“The Accelerator is an example of the strength of a strong partnership between Mayo Clinic and the community to make it easier and more affordable for companies to start and locate in Rochester,” says Mayo Clinic CEO Dr. John Noseworthy.

A collaboration between Mayo Clinic, the City of Rochester and Rochester Area Economic Development Inc., the Accelerator is starting out with a full boat of tenants that include biotech businesses, medical device makers, software start-ups, venture capitalists and health care consultants.

Funded by $100,000 from Mayo Clinic and $100,000 from local sales tax money, the 2,500-square-foot cluster of offices is located on the second floor of the city-owned Minnesota BioBusiness Center. RAEDI is handling the management and leasing of the space.

“We hope to provide a nurturing space for new company formation in Rochester,” says Jim Rogers of Mayo Clinic Ventures.

February 27, 2013

A window on Mayo Clinic's business accelerator plans

It is getting close to the big reveal of the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator in the City of Rochester's Minnesota BioBusiness Center.

02272013mayoaccelerator1The plan, as I understand it, is to announce the new tenants - possibly eight - in the 2,500-square-foot center at RAEDI's annual meeting on Thursday. Remember this new twist on a business incubator is designed to house early biotech start-ups as well as venture capitalists. The tenant names have been kept hidden from anyone outside of Mayo Clinic and the usual insider crowd of public figures.

And yet this morning, a couple of venture capitalist firms' names are as clear as glass as being part of this private/public project.

Sanderling Ventures and Versant Ventures are up on the window, along with Mayo Clinic Ventures, the City of Rochester and RAEDI.

The California-based firm has a lot of experience working with Mayo Clinic and Mayo-related companies, like Torax and Naviscan.

02272013mayoaccelerator2I don't know as much as about Versant Ventures, but it is also based in California. However, it also has an office in Minneapolis.

Here's some background on the accelerator:

Mayo Clinic is giving $100,000 to turn the unused space, which is owned by the city, into offices. RAEDI will handle the management and leasing of the space.

HGA, which was the architect firm for the building, handled designs for this space. Lots of glass walls, I hear. Rents are expected to range from $13 to $15 per square foot.

January 23, 2012

Mayo Clinic-linked med device firm close to FDA OK

Here's a little from an interestng piece by Lindsay Patton on Dailyrx.com about Torax Medical's anti-acid reflux device.

Mayo Clinic helped launch Torax in 2003 and Mayo Medical Ventures has invested in the company in the past.

John Deedrick, a Rochester venture capitalist who previously worked with Mayo Clinic, is also on Torax's board of directors.

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A FDA panel has given unanimous support to LINX, an implantable device to treat chronic and severe acid reflux. That means LINX is one step closer to being available for US patients.

TORAX_twitter_picThe LINX Reflux Management System is a flexible ring of titanium magnetic beads. It's implanted on the lower end of the esophagus to prevent stomach acid and food from rising.

The magnetic attraction between the beads work to resist the gastric pressure that causes acid reflux. But when people are eating, it allows food and liquids to pass into the stomach normally.

LINX is produced by Torax Medical, a medical device company based in Minnesota. The device has already been on the market in some European countries for two years.

LINX-588x330------

LINX is not recommended for patients who need MRI scans, due to the magnetic nature of the beads.

Torax plans a follow-up study of 200 patients to test LINX's long-term safety and effectiveness.

September 22, 2011

The Belgians are coming - Mayo Clinic-linked firm opening Roch. subsidary

Here's some from a piece I whipped up today about a Belgium biotech company, Cardio3, opening a U.S. office in the US. I've have been following these guys for years.

They are a pretty interesting firm.

The whole story is in today's print edition, including more about the potential of what this could mean for Rochester.

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After years of talks, a Belgium company that uses stem cells to repair the heart is coming to Rochester in what local officials hope will be the start of a cluster of regenerative medicine firms here.
6a00d83451cc8269e2014e87420421970d-250wi
Cardio3 BioSciences, which is based on Mayo Clinic-licensed research by Dr. Atta Behfar and Dr. Andre Terzic, uses a patient's own stem cells from bone marrow to repair heart damage.

Clinical trials with patients in Europe have shown positive results. Now the company is establishing a subsidiary in Rochester to begin trials in the United States.

"What is unique about this is it's Mayo intellectual property that they are commercializing, which they took to it Belgium … and now it has come full circle back to Rochester," said Rochester Area Economic Development Inc. President Gary Smith. "That is a big thing … a very big thing."

September 21, 2011

Start-up's Elk Run BioPark plans have farm feel

Here's some from an article by Jeff Hansel about the first business pledging to open in Pine Island's planned Elk Run biobusiness park.

This is an interesting project. Of course, the company still needs about $3.5 million to make this happen, but it is more of a commitment than we've heard before.

Hansel first wrote about this in the weekend paper and this is a follow-up from a state biotech conference Tuesday. The whole article is in the print edition.

For the record, I did not write this lead. However, I wish I had. Heh.

A Minnesota researcher wants to make dairy cattle less horny.

Scott Fahrenkrug, CEO of biotech startup Recombinetics, told more than 200 of the state's biotech leaders that his company recently signed a mutli-year contract to develop hornless dairy cattle so they're safer to work with.

Get_photo --------

Recombinetics is also the first company to publicly announce it's in talks to base its business at Pine Island's planned Elk Run biobusiness park.

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However, Fahrenkrug emphasizes that the letter of intent means simply that there's an "intent to explore the design and financing of the facility." That means no money has thus far changed hands, and neither Elk Run nor Recombinetics is contractually obligated to build the facility.

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Recombinetics scientists plan to add the naturally occurring beef cattle gene to dairy cows to elimnate the horns.

15510083_BG1 -------

Recombinetics also plans to house 50 to 100 pigs at Elk Run.

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Elk Run is perfect for a swine "nucleus herd," Fahrenkrug said, because it's five miles from any other swine production. The Pine Island laboratory will work on the development of pigs that are genetically susceptible to some of the major chronic human diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. 

Once a line of pigs gets developed, Recombinetics will seek farmers able to raise them for sale to research labs nationwide — the same way farmers raise hybrid pigs.

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The company needs to raise $3.5 million to jumpstart its Elk Run plans, and it's looking for investors.

"We're ready to get serious here in Minnesota," Fahrenkrug said. But he was blunt about the need for Minnesota funding, and its availability elsewhere.

"If we can't get what we need here, we'll go someplace else," he said, noting other states are courting the company.

September 13, 2011

Maker of Mayo Clinic licensed device snags $2.25M

Here's a kind of interesting tidbit I noticed last week.

MedspiraLogoWithTagline Medspira, a Minneapolis company that makes medical devices licensed from Mayo Clinic landed $2.25 million in funding to "… Support introduction of new technologies invented at Mayo Clinic."

Wonder what new things are on the way?

The press release for this that came out on Friday was a bit confusing. About 90 percent of it was about Medspira's Breath Hold breathing monitor.

Here's some from the press release:

Medspira, a… medical device company, has received a $2,250,000 investment from a private venture group to build on the success of its flagship Breath Hold respiratory motion monitoring system and bring additional clinically-inspired medical technologies to market.

Breathhold “We’re extremely pleased to receive funding to expand our efforts to seek out and commercialize innovative new medical devices that fill recognized needs in today’s healthcare environment," said Jim Quackenbush, CEO of Medspira.  

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“This new funding provides an important validation of Medspira’s business model as well as the company’s initial efforts in support of the Breath Hold product," he says.

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Medspira’s new funding will support introduction of new technologies invented at Mayo Clinic and licensed to Medspira as part of the original license agreement in 2009.

Medspira also makes and sells a MRI Wrist Coil scanner that was developed by and licensed from Mayo Clinic.

March 07, 2011

RAEDI's annual luncheon on econ development

It is that time of year again.

RAEDIhdr RAEDI - Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. - is hosting its annual luncheon to talk about economic development in the Med City area in 2010 and for the coming year of 2011.

Cfans_asset_183236 Lunch will start at noon Tuesday at the Doubletree in Rochester.

Keynote speaker for the event is Thomas Stinson, Minnesota State Economist. He will be addressing the group regarding the state of Minnesota’s economy and the “New Normal.” 

Here's a bonus angle to this year's lunch, RAEDI is marking its 25th year of working to keep the local economy vital.

June 17, 2010

Lawsuit bites Pepin Heights, U of M over SweeTango

Remember when I introduced the world to SweeTango, a possible Honeycrisp-killer, Minnesota-made apple variety?

6a00d83451cc8269e20120a5180f3e970b-250wi Now that apple is in the sauce.

Dennis Courtier, owner of the Lake City-based Pepin Heights Orchard, helped spot the apple as an up-and-comer.

Here's some from my article back in August 2009:

To help control the control the quality of his choice variety, SweeTango, Courtier has licensed the fruit, not the tree - just as a drugmaker would license patented research from Mayo Clinic.

And he has formed a cooperative of apple growers across the United States and into Canada called The Next Big Thing.

This group will help control where SweeTango is planted to maintain its quality and possibly help market it.

The method will also return a percentage of the profit from the sale of the fruit to the university, which also developed SweeTango.

In the open market-style of apple variety release, like the one used for Honeycrisp, the university also gets money from the sale of trees and only for a limited amount of years.

While he sees the managed variety method as a good addition to the apple industry's toolbox instead of a replacement to the open release method, U of M apple breeder David Bedford sees the financial advantage for the university.

"Honeycrisp, which is now the most popular apple there is, is now really established. And our patent on it expired last year," he said.

In the United States, at least, the university will not pick any more profits from Honeycrisp. 

Today the Star-Tribune posted an article by Mary Lynn Smith  about a lawsuit filed against the U and Pepin Heights by other apple growers:

6a00d83451cc8269e20120a51808a4970b-250wi More than a dozen apple growers filed a lawsuit in Hennepin District Court on Wednesday over an exclusive licensing agreement that the University of Minnesota and Pepin Heights Orchard have struck over what's being touted as the latest and greatest apple to hit the market — the SweeTango.

The growers expect that the new apple variety created by U researchers will take a big bite out of the apples already on the market.

The growers who filed the suit argue the university's licensing agreement with Pepin Heights severely limits their ability to grow, sell and ultimately profit from the SweeTango, a cross between the Honeycrisp and Zestar varieties.

The growers complain that the deal limits the number of trees other orchards can grow and allows them to sell only directly to consumers or individual stores rather than through the wholesalers who are an essential source of revenue for most orchards. The deal also prevents smaller growers from pooling their crops to fill orders from large retail stores.

"Such restrictive limitations ... result in unfair competition likely to force some of [the growers] out of business and significantly impair efforts of other Minnesota apple growers to remain viable," the suits says.